When I was a kid, the idea of putting a cloth diaper on a baby and then having to scrape off poop and –oh the horror- put the poopy diaper in the washing machine grossed me out. Cloth diapers in my mind were like the kind my mom used on my little brother - white cloths pinned together, covered with rubber underwear. And they were way too much trouble.
When I had Summer, I discovered that cloth diapers were actually pretty cute and not as hard to deal with as I imagined. But we lived in an apartment that didn’t have a washer and dryer, so it really wasn’t an option. With Camryn, we had moved into an apartment with a washer and dryer. I seriously considered going the cloth diapering route. But Summer was only 11 and a half months old, still in diapers herself, and it felt like too much. I probably could have done it, but everyone around me said it would be too hard. They gave me a pass and I took it – although I wished I hadn’t.
When I got pregnant with Jace, I was excited to have another chance to try out cloth diapering.
I had planned on starting to use them as soon as we came home from the hospital, but I had forgotten how much newborns poop. I know there are plenty of people who cloth diaper from the very beginning, but it would have required a ridiculous number of diapers and a ridiculous amount of laundry, so I waited till he was around 4 weeks old when he wasn’t pooping 12 times a day, and then got a set of gDiapers from Babies R Us. gDiapers are hybrid diapers, meaning you can use their disposable inserts, or cloth inserts. I got the cloth.
Let me say now, that a lot of dads are hesitant, or outright against, cloth diapering. They may agree that the financial and environmental benefits are great, but the whole poop in the washing machine thing? No go. So ladies, just do what I did. Buy them anyway without discussing it first, put the diaper on your baby, then ask him to change his diaper. He will be so stunned at how adorable the baby looks and how easy the process actually is once you show them, that they won’t get mad at you and they will be with you on the cloth diapering bandwagon forever. Or uh, maybe he will grumble and complain for a little while but get over it eventually when he realizes he doesn’t really have a choice.
I have really enjoyed the gDiapers. I think we’ve only had one leak after a long nap. I’ve even used them at night a few times without an issue. They’re very simple to use.. just put the insert into the waterproof liner that snaps into the cloth, and velcro the diaper on. After 2-4 hours when baby is ready to be changed, just un-velcro, remove the insert, put it into whatever you use to put the dirty things in (I’m using a gallon-sized zipper ziplock bag), replace with a clean insert, and you’re done. Every once in awhile if they poop you may have to change the waterproof snap-on part or the cover, but normally you don’t.
For washing, I just put all the dirty stuff in the washing machine with some Charlie’s Laundry Soap (it’s all-natural to prevent detergent build-up and chemicals getting on the diapers), wash in warm water, do an extra rinse, and then dry on low.
Poop hasn’t been an issue so far. Breastfed babies have really runny stools so it just soaks right in. No scraping into the toilet required. Yet.
I was having to do diaper laundry almost every day since I only had six inserts, so I went to a local store called Amazing Green Planet yesterday and got two All-In-One One Size BumGenius diapers. I tried them out and LOVE them. They’re all one piece – the inserts are sewn into the cover. So you just remove the whole thing and replace with a fresh one. They seem pretty absorbent and they’re one-size with snaps so they should fit him until he is potty-trained. It was $20 for one diaper, and since you will be using it over and over, you can see how you quickly get your money back and then some with cloth diapering.
I just love it. Disposable diapers have chemicals in them, and babies skin is so sensitive. It just makes sense to use something natural instead of something man-made. And they are SO CUTE!
Since we’re brand new to this, we (yes, Joe is finally interested now, too) would love to hear your cloth-diapering advice… what is your favorite brand? What is your laundry process? Where do you buy or sell your diapers?